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LIVING WITH MUSLIMS IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

I need to blog. I don’t know how to find the time. I’m learning so much, experiencing so much, seeing so much change take place right before my eyes. I feel like I’m caught up in a whirlwind of change processing it all as fast as I can. I’ll be blogging soon about it – maybe. The past three months have been some of the greatest learning and events of my life. From being in Vietnam and receiving the Friendship Metal and being asked to do some things to having been in Morocco last week at the “Marrakech Declaration” and being asked to address the room of 300 world leaders. Now packing my bags to head to another part of the world to speak in mosques, churches, and other places. Read more

CHURCH PLANTING AMIDST MASSIVE SOCIAL SHIFTS

A few years ago, the primary conversation among church planters and pastors was how the church in the U.S. needs to be “reinvented” so it will grow again.  I’ve seen many things in the past 30 years, from expository preaching trends, to worship trends, to unique generational churches, to prototypes be they seeker or purpose driven – and now missional.  Yet, the reality is all of these trends were driven at how to grow or jump start the church once again.  Most centered on how to communicate clearly with excellence or building relationships of intimacy – all those things are good and will always be good.   Many brought necessary adjustments to the church, but for the most part responses were more tribal than transformative across culture.

Without an understanding of culture and where things are – all of those things are useless and can actually become counterproductive.  A couple of decades ago Barna began to write about the increasingly irrelevance of the church in the lives of people in the U.S.  Yet, two expressions of the church have gained momentum.  One is the mega-church – focusing on religious goods and services, at the opposite end of the field are the missional-church focusing on relationships.  In the middle ground everyone else is trying to figure out what to do pulling from everyone.  In my opinion, none of these are effectively addressing sociological issues that are now impacting the church dramatically.

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